1989 Rolex GMT-Master (Ref. 16700) W/ Box & Papers
The Rolex GMT is the jet-setting icon of the Rolex sports watch family. The history of this sophisticated, versatile style dates back to 1954 when Rolex received a request from Pan Am to create a technical pilot's watch that could indicate two time zones simultaneously. As advances in aviation made transcontinental flights commercially available Pan Am needed a watch that could be issued to their crews on long-haul international flights.
GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time - the time zone that regulates world clocks and is required for all aviation planning and schedules. The Rolex GMT Master has a fourth 24-hour hand that directly displays the same time zone as the standard 12-hour hand but on a 24-hour scale. The addition of this GMT hand enabled crews to set the watch to GMT or another time zone, and, using the rotating 24-hour scale bezel, correct the offset to display a second-time zone on the 24-hour scale.
The reference 16700 GMT-Master started production in 1988 as the improved-upon version of its predecessor, the 16750. Featuring the updated 3175 movement and sapphire crystal. Rolex offered the 16700 GMT-Master as a more affordable "GMT" option alongside the more upgraded GMT-Master II, and production went on for a surprising 11 years when it ceased production in 1999. Interestingly enough though, the 16700 had notably fewer production numbers than its big brother the 16710 making for an overall harder watch to obtain and as result to that, a favored "modern-vintage" piece among collectors today.
|Dial||Black Glossy W/ WG Surround Markers|
|Bracelet||Rolex 78360 Oyster Bracelet W/ 501B End Pieces|
The handsome case appears to remain unpolished but with honest wear, showing crisp chamfers down the thick and symmetrical lugs. The original black bezel insert remains deep black in color with almost no signs of previous use. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 501 B end pieces retains 13 links and will fit up to an 8-inch wrist.
The original glossy dial with white gold surround markers has developed a unique and attractive patina that features a subtle but consistent texture and deep chocolate brown coloration that is spotted around the dial. Apart from the notable aging, there is no actual damage present on the dial. The tritium lume plots have aged to a lovely creamy yellow patina and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands have aged lighter than the dial which is common in the era, under U.V. light inspection the minute had features cracking in the lume but remains stable, the rest of the hands remain fully intact.
The watch comes complete with its original boxes, Rolex guarantee paper, and original booklets. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.